Just like the pairs Interviewer & Interviewee or Employer & Employee, is there any word for leader?

Say the word is x. I'm trying to construct a statement where I have to say that, "A leader needs to be both gregarious and exemplary to inspire the x".

The sentence could possibly be rephrased to avoid the word that I'm looking for. But I want to know if such a word exists.

  • 3
    Depends on what sense you wish to convey. "Follower" is only slightly pejorative (check its synonyms), "sheep" much more. "Leadee" is occasionally used in a jocular sense.
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 1, 2018 at 11:36
  • word adherents should work.
    – Ubi.B
    Sep 1, 2018 at 12:07
  • 1
    I'm with @HotLicks. And "follower" need not be pejorative at all.
    – GEdgar
    Sep 1, 2018 at 12:18
  • Unfortunately Stack Exchange have, in their wisdom, made the detailed help for this tag far more difficult to find. [I'll see if it's possible to do something about that.] We need more information than just the sample sentence: have a look at the help.
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 1, 2018 at 12:44

3 Answers 3


I think that the word you are looking for is 'the led'.

A leader needs to be both gregarious and exemplary to inspire the led.

See also :

Leaders and Led

Daily People

Relationships - The Leaders and the Led


Why great leaders love to be led

The Riverstone Group

  • Using led in this sense is not too common. But it's not too uncommon either I guess..
    – yathish
    Sep 2, 2018 at 8:59

You have leaders and you have followers:


1 a : one in the service of another : retainer
b : one that follows the opinions or teachings of another
c : one that imitates another

The party drew most of its followers from among young people.
The band has a large group of followers.
He had a reputation of being a follower, not a leader.

In your sentence, however, you would need to say "to inspire his followers."

  • Is followers apt to be used to describe employees in a corporate?
    – yathish
    Sep 2, 2018 at 8:57
  • 1
    @yathish Well, personally, I wouldn't use the unqualified word leader in a corporation. But, if I did, I would not find follower at inappropriate. Sep 2, 2018 at 14:33
  • What do you mean unqualified? A CEO could rightly be called a leader. But followers sounds odd to refer to the employees. I had team leaders in my mind originally..
    – yathish
    Sep 4, 2018 at 10:40
  • @yathish By unqualified, I mean not collocated with another word. Just as you said, there could be a team leader. Team is qualifying the word leader. But aside from generic usage (or in the qualified sense), there is no position called leader at a company. Sep 4, 2018 at 14:13
  • @yathish Also, in the case of team leader, I would not say team follower (that could be ambiguous). I would say team member. Sep 4, 2018 at 14:44

A leader needs to be both gregarious and exemplary to inspire those they lead.

Not one word but it gets the point across without showing unnecessary superiority like "led" and "followers" seems to.

  • A leader needs to be ... gregarious Not really, history is full of examples of leaders who stood far apart from those they led. Nov 5, 2021 at 7:35

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